Divergent by Veronica Roth

Tris is an Abnegation living in future Chicago, a place where mankind has created world peace by preventing the human traits that cause it. They split themselves into five factions – Candor – the honest, Erudite – the intelligent, Amity – the kind, Abnegation – the selfless, and Dauntless – the brave. When a person is sixteen they must take a test to help them determine which of the five factions they should choose, but Tris’ results are dangerously inconclusive, giving her a choice of three factions. It means that she is a Divergent, one of the few people with a special mind and capabilities, but in a world where the factions dictate everything, being different can lead to death, and she must keep it hidden. The day of the choosing ceremony comes, and Tris chooses Dauntless over Abnegation, bravery over selflessness. After that danger sweeps her up in its path, with even the route to the Dauntless compound being fatal for some. She then begins training, and the risks during this are far more than anyone could imagine, turning Tris’ life into a whirlwind of pain, adrenaline and fear, but something sinister is going on beneath the bravery. Is there more to Dauntless than meets the eye? One thing is for certain, if Tris is going to survive, she needs to hide her differences.

This was a really exciting book that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it, it was very gripping and I devoured it eagerly! It was a little bit overly-violent  for the book at some points, but overall it was great and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the The Hunger Games, as the two are very similar, but Divergent’s plot is a little more complicated and intriguing.

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Teacher’s Pest by Charles Gilman

In the third instalment of the series, the story is picked up right where The Slither Sisters left off. Robert gave the role of school president to fellow student Howard Mergler, but was horrified when he found out that Howard was actually a giant bug, one of Tillinghast’s monsters, in disguise. Howard plans to take over the school, and it’s up to Glenn and Robert, with the help of the resident school ghost Karina Ortiz, and Robert’s pet two-headed rat, Pip and Squeak, to stop him. Soon they’re facing swarms of insects, from head lice to giant purple wasps, at just the time the janitors decide to go on strike. Howard’s plan seems to be working well, and when Pip and squeak disappear down a ventilation duct, it seems hopeless for Robert. But more secrets are hidden inside Howard’s plan, and as Robert tries to uncover the truth, the insect army threatens to take over…

This was an amazing book and the feeling of suspense is even more thrilling than the last instalment of the series. When I picked it up and started reading, I couldn’t put it down! The sense of adventure mixed with horror and science-fiction is really clever and I would rate it 10/10.

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The Palace Library by Steven Loveridge

This is the exciting tale of three children, Harry, Grace and Eleanor, who, whilst staying with their Uncle Jasper, find a secret door into the magical Palace Library, full of wondrous magical books and protected by Edgar the Librarian.

One day, when Harry slips through one of the doors out of the library, Eleanor and Grace are called on to rescue him, and are given magical books to help. When they go through the door, they find themselves in 17th century England. But they’re not there on holiday. The girls find Harry, but there’s more to be discovered as the children find out that the great sword Ascalon, the Sword of State and the very one Saint George used to slay the dragon, has been lost, and without it the dragons are returning to England. The children must travel to the edge of Hell’s bay, to re-forge Ascalon and banish the dragons once again. But that is not all. There are traitors aboard the ship, and they will do anything to sabotage the attempt. Will Harry, Eleanor and Grace manage to recover the Sword? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

I really enjoyed this book, and I thought the author has a really unique style which I haven’t seen before. The book is really exciting and I would recommend it to anyone.

 

The Slither Sisters by Charles Gilman

This is the second book in the Lovecraft Middle School series and this time the fight against Tillinghast just got even harder. It’s back to school  and Robert is having some weird dreams about Tillinghast’s monsters. Professor Gargoyle has gone, but Robert and Glenn have a new thing to worry about when they find out that Sarah Price, one of the twins who disappeared and then mysteriously returned, is running for class president. Against her is Howard Mergler, a nice boy but  invisible against Sarah’s cupcakes and brownies. Sarah and Sylvia disappear every day at lunch, and when Katrina, Robert and Glenn follow them, they find a gate. They go through it, but are caught at Tillinghast mansion by the twins. They are a hairs breadth away from being used by the monsters like Professor Gargoyle, when Ms Lavinia rescues them. The twins aren’t just running for fun, though. They have bad intentions, and if they win, all the students at Lovecraft would be put in deadly danger. Robert runs for class president, and with some help from his friends, it seems he stands a chance. But Sarah and Sylvia are not going to play nice, and suddenly, Robert is in more danger than ever before…

This was a brilliant book and I read it in one night. Charles Gilman is a amazing writer but I wish he’d write more in each book as I never want to stop!

I LOVE the lenticular cover on this one even more than the last one, and this book has more adventure packed in than the last. Some people say that sequels are never as good, but in this case, they are definitely wrong!

Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson

This is Jacqueline Wilson’s latest book to date and it’s the first book she has written that has a fantasy creature in it. There are four children: Rosalind, the eldest, Robbie, Rosalind’s younger brother, Smash, Robbie and Rosalind’s stepsister, and Maudie, the youngest and everyone’s favourite. The children are dragged off one day to Oxshott Woods for a picnic, and whilst playing in the sandpit they discover the mysterious, and rather grumpy, Psammead (samm-y-ad), a magical creature that looks a bit like a monkey with eyes on stalks and long brown fur. When they discover it can grant wishes, Robbie wishes he can climb trees amazingly. The Psammead puffs itself up until he’s the size of a beach ball, stays puffed up for a few seconds, then deflates like balloon with a hole in it. Robbie tries climbing a tree and shins up like a monkey in a second. Everyone is amazed and Robbie and Rosalind’s dad signs him up for a lesson with a gymnastics trainer, but when they get there everything goes pear-shaped because the wishes only last until sunset. The next day, Smash wishes that they could all be rich and famous. Everything goes well until the sun goes down …

I really enjoyed this book and I think it’s Jacqueline Wilson’s best yet. I liked the fact that it was a modern take on E. Nesbit’s classic story, Five Children and It, and that the Psammead was always saying how nice and polite children from the 20th century were, compared to the children from the 21st century.

       

Ingo by Helen Dunmore

Sapphire leads a completely normal life until one day her dad goes out in a fishing boat and disappears. Then her brother Conor starts making frequent trips into the sea without her. She finds he is meeting a mysterious girl wearing what appears to be a wetsuit, but soon reveals itself to be something unbelievable. Soon after, Sapphire meets her own friend with the same amazing body. Sapphire is taken deep into Ingo, the world beneath the sea, and is soon mesmerised by its beauty. But Ingo is powerful, and as its grip on Sapphire becomes stronger, Sapphire is pulled into the dangerous word of Ingo. This book is one of the most exciting I have ever read, as it combines the thrill that makes you have to read on with mystery and haunting beauty. I think Helen Dunmore is an amazing writer and recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure and haunting thrillers.

 

Sylvie and the Songman by Tim Binding

Sylvie is just an ordinary girl until one day she goes to Durdle Door  and her mum disappears whilst swimming. Her dad turns to composing music and  creates lots of odd instruments. When Sylvie’s dog, Mr Jackson, loses his bark, Sylvie and her dad think he’s got some kind of sickness. Then everything is fine until one day she gets home from school and finds that her dad is missing. She and her friend George, as well as Mr Jackson, search the house and garden and they find a mysterious metal rod. Then, at night, a man with a green coat covered in feathers with a bright red hat surrounded by woodpeckers comes through the garden gate. The iron rod begins to vibrate, and the woodpeckers flock to the window and begin tapping at it with their beaks. The woodpecker man joins in and for a few hours all that can be heard is the tap, tap of the woodpeckers beaks. Then, just as the woodpecker man makes a massive crack in the window, the milkman comes round and,angrily, the woodpecker man jumps from the window. Sylvie, George and Mr Jackson leave the house, but are met on the train by a sinister couple and they jump out of the train. Then Sylvie is bitten by a fox, and suddenly she can hear what animals are thinking. The fox leads them to a sanctuary, but along the way they see the woodpecker man in a swan powered hot air balloon with somebody else. They are throwing bottles out of the balloon and when they break open, the song of an animal comes out. Immediately, if an animal hears their song, they are unable to speak or sing. One of the bottles stays unbroken and on it is written “property of The Songman”. Then Sylvie finds some papers that are so important they could, in the wrong hands, create a nuclear explosion. . The Songman hasn’t revealed who he is , but he is closer to Sylvie than she thinks. One thing’s for sure: The Songman wants something Sylvie has, but she is not going to let him have it.

I thought this book was really good and it reels you in the moment you pick it up. I don’t think that it’s possible to get into a good book then put it down. Anyway, I think Tim Binding is a brilliant author  and obviously I can’t write the entire content of the book in this book review, that’s what the book’s for, but I wrote down the key bits, so there is a lot more to this amazing book. One thing I haven’t expressed very much in this review is that music comes into the book a lot, but I don’t think that’s a bad point of the story. In short, I LOVED it !!!

   

Knife by R.J. Anderson

This is the first book in the Knife series and I think it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The story is about faeries (yes, it is spelt like that in this book) but they are not the type of faeries that you imagine when you hear that word. The story starts off with a young faery called Bryony who lives in an old oak in a garden. She lives with her stepmother Wink until she is seventeen when the Queen gives her an occupation. She is apprenticed, much to everyone’s surprise, to Thorn, the royal . As Hunter’s privilege, she is allowed to change her name but she decides to change it to something no faery has ever been called before. Knife. She is taught how to snare a rabbit or another small animal, skin it and tan its soft hide, but all the while she is thinking about the terrible Sundering, the time when a faery called Jasmine decided that the faeries in the oak would be better off without humans, so she cast a spell that enabled the faeries to replace themselves with eggs when they died, but in doing so she used up all the magic of the faeries in the oak. Luckily the faery Amaryllis was not in the oak when the Sundering happened so she still had her magic. She was made Queen and because so many faeries kept getting eaten by predators she made a rule that stated that no one was allowed to leave the Oak apart from the Gatherers and the Hunter so that the few faeries left wouldn’t die out. But the deadly Silence had now come to the Oak, and there was no cure for it. Nobody knows what causes it, all they know is it is deadly. When Knife is injured by a crow and then is rescued by a human, she is taught how to draw, which is almost impossible for faeries to do. Also, whilst she is there she befriends the human and when Queen Amaryllis finds out, she gives Knife a choice. Become human and stay with her friend, or stay a faery and never see him again. Will Knife decide to become human? You’ll have to find out!

When I read this book, I thought it was so good that when I finished it, I very, very nearly had a temper tantrum because I didn’t want it to end! (I don’t know what qualifies as a temper tantrum in your mind, but I threw the book on the floor, stamped on it then started hitting it really hard with pillows) Obviously I can’t fit the whole plot of the book in one review, so it has more than a simple(ish) plot like that! Honestly, though, this book was one of my favourite books of all time. I really think people should try reading it because (and I might be wrong) it isn’t a very well-known book and I think it should be.
READ IT!!!
(please!)

You can visit the author’s website by clicking here

 

 

Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

A great tale of magic, cupcakes and mischief all rolled into one book. What could be better? It all starts off when Rosemary (the main character of the story) sees her mother fold a lightning bolt into a bowl of batter when she was about five. Then, about six or seven years later, her mother and father are asked to go and make some magical macaroons that are rumoured to cure swine flu for the mayor of a town with a horrible flu epidemic. Rosemary, along with her brothers Ty and Sage and her sister Leigh, are left in the care of Mrs Carlson, an old annoying Scottish lady, and Chip, Rosemary’s parents’ cooking assistant. But then, a mysterious lady supposedly called Aunt Lily turns up out of the blue and Rosemary, Ty and Sage decide to try out some of their parents’ magic recipes. What could possibly go wrong?

I really loved this book, it had the perfect mixture of mystery and humour. The only fault I could find was that the story went a bit off-course at some points in the book. Still, it was an amazing book and I would recommend it to anyone.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1* Maryrose Wood

An amazing book, it had me gripped from the first page. It follows the tale of three children found in the woods  by the lord of Ashton Place, Mr Frederick Ashton, and their governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, as she tries to eliminate their canine tendencies. They include howling, chasing squirrels and fetching things in their mouths. nevertheless, Miss Lumley is not deterred in her mission to ready the children for human life. But mysteries lurk around Ashton Place. Why is Old Timothy always hiding around corners? And what is the mysterious howling coming from behind the attic wall?

A couple of negative things are the old-fashioned words used in the book and the way the writer veers off the subject at some points in the book. But I would recommend this book to anyone because it is funny and mysterious at the same time

*I couldn’t fit the whole title in so I just wrote #1. The whole title is ‘The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling.’